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VanCoug Invasion

Over 50 students road the rooter bus up to Seattle for the Cougar football game Sept. 28 and more than 100 VanCougs were in the stadium by kick-off. Even through the rain VanCougs devotedly supported their team until the end.

The Cougars knew this would be an uphill battle. Still there was hope that there could be an upset of David and Goliath proportions. Unfortunately, Goliath squashed David.

Number Fifth ranked Stanford took an early lead in the first quarter by scoring a touchdown and field goal making it 10-3. Still the Cougs defense was doing a good job at keeping Stanford offense at bay. However, this did not last long before Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devon Cajuste, making the score 17-3.

Try as they might the Coug offense was essentially shut down by Stanford’s defense. Outside linebacker Trent Murphy stopped Washington State’s quarterback Connor Halliday every chance he could. The saving grace was when Stanford’s quarterback Kevin Hogan was picked off in the end zone by safety Deone Bucannon.

The cool breezy conditions in the first half at Century Link began to turn into a torrential downpour, an ominous warning of what was to come. Sure enough early in the 3rd quarter Connor Haliday’s pass was picked off by safety Jordan Richards for a touchdown, making the score 24-3. On the very next play Halliday was injured, causing the entire crowd to groan in unison. Things begin to unravel from there, as freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca came in for Halliday and was immediately hit by Stanford. As Apodaca limped off the field, Mike Bowlin’s punt was short, giving the Stanford offense great field position. The crowd booed, as this was one of many short punts by Bowlin.

Starting on the 46 yard line Hogan threw an easy 45 yard pass to Michael Rector for a touchdown making the score 31-3. A weary Apodaca took over on the 19-yard line and was immediately sacked for a loss of 7 yards. Two back-to-back hits made Apodaca want to get rid of the ball quickly, which is what caused him to turn the ball over and allow Stanford to score again, up- ping their lead 38-3.

By this time the crowd had begun to thin and only the strongest and drunkest fans remained. They were rewarded by seeing wide receiver Gabe Marks score a touchdown. Of course this was after Stanford had already scored two more times. Even though it was freezing and raining, the touchdown seemed to brighten the team’s spirit. Alas that brightness was dimmed when running back and son of legendary NFL player Barry Sanders Jr. juked pass the Cougars defense for a touchdown.

With the score now 55-10, the exodus of fans was almost complete; only a few stragglers remained. The last few minutes seemed to be moving at a snails pace. The camera panned to the few die hard fans left in attendance as if to openly mock them for being there. In the last few minutes of the game Apodaca was finally able to move the ball down field and complete a pass to wide receiver Rickey Galvin, mak- ing the final score 55-17. As the final whistle blew the last of the fans silently shuffled out of Century Link.

Down away from the stadium in Pioneer Square, fans were numbing their pain in Pioneer Square’s many watering holes. Along the walk back to cars students were chanting “Go Cougs,” still supporting their fallen team. For even with a crushing defeat Cougar fans still have a positive attitude. Next week Washington State plays California State, who on Saturday suffered a 55-16 crushing defeat against Oregon. Two teams that of recent years have known more defeats than victories.

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